Building a fundraising site for your organization to take donations or raise funds doesn’t have to be a huge pain. While there are many solutions for this and other web services, this is just one approach that can get you online and ready to take donations. Take this simple approach and have something up quickly.
In part one, I blogged about the need for a good domain and a solid web host for your site. Next, I wrote about installing WordPress and configuring both the settings and installing a good theme. This time, we’ll look at some basic plugins to install as well as configure the donation or fundraising part of your site.
Start with these plugins on your fundraising site
While there are thousands and thousands of plugins I could recommend to you for your site and there are many that I would, this tutorial is about getting a fundraising site up quickly. The improvements and extra functionality can come later. Here is a short list of plugins that I would include in order to get your site secured, indexed by search engines and more.
Jetpack by Automattic – Jetpack is a featured filled plugin with individually activated modules that will do things like add social sharing to your site while also providing brute force protection. It’s the first plugin I activate on many sites and provides millions of users with tons of functionality. While it occasionally faces issues, the support team behind the plugin is top of the line and offers great email support.
WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast – This plugin is also one that I install on most of my sites. It is a staple of the WordPress plugin community and has one of the largest install bases of any plugin. It provides not only the ability to add SEO descriptions, titles, and focus words but then also checks each post and page to make sure you are writing in a way that will help get your site indexed and ranked for your keywords.
Adding the fundraising functionality to our site
By now, you have a simple, but functional website with a custom domain and solid hosting. All that is left is to add the donation and fundraising functionality. To do this, we’re going to utilize a relatively new plugin called Give. According to the website, Give is,
[aesop_quote parallax=”on” cite=”GiveWP.com” type=”pull” quote=”The most flexible, robust, and easy to use WordPress plugin for accepting donations directly on your website. Upon activation, Give provides you with powerful features geared towards helping your Cause.” size=”1″ align=”center” height=”auto” text=”#101010″ background=”#222222″ width=”100%”]
With its easy install process, quick donation form creation and growing add on base, its a great option for getting our donation or fundraising site up quickly.
First, we’ll need to get the plugin installed. This plugin is part of the wordpress.org plugin repository. That means we can click Plugins, then Add New and then search for “Give.” This should populate the plugin desired which you can see below. Click “Install Now” and wait for the plugin to install. Activate the plugin.
[aesop_image imgwidth=”100%” img=”http://mpritchett.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Screen-Shot-2015-05-07-at-12.32.01-PM-1.png” alt=”Give Plugin” align=”center” lightbox=”off” captionposition=”left”]
Next we’ll create a donation form and add it to our donation page. You’ll notice that a Donations menu item has been added to your WordPress admin menu. Hover over this and click “Add Form.”
Give your form a title. Next, you can have either a fix amount for donations or donation levels. You can also allow people to set a custom amount for donations. You can then choose whether or not to display content along with your form. In most situation you can simply type the content onto the page you add the form shortcode. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to ignore the rest of the options, but they offer lots of ways to customize your forms and donation settings.
Next we need to grab the shortcode from the sidebar. Once you have this copied, simply click “Publish” and your form is ready to use. Create a new page or edit a page that you’ve already created and place the shortcode into the content editor. Publish or update the page and your form will appear on that page immediately.
The last remaining item is to setup your donation payment gateway. Give, by default comes with Paypal Standard integration. This means that you can use PayPal to accept debit and credit cards but that visitors will be taken off your site for the payment. Give also offers paid add-ons that allow Stripe and other gateways to be integrated.